Canned goods are the common disaster relief food in every donation drive during calamities. It is easy to prepare, convenient, and has a long shelf life, but is it really practical at all times? (Read: LIST: The Best Food Items to Donate for Disaster Victims)
While it is possible to infuse more nutrition to disaster relief food by donating ready-to-eat or freshly cooked meals, you may also consider other accessible and healthier options aside from canned goods and instant noodles. Since many have already been donating rice and packed ulam, a light meal and pampalipas gutom snack will be helpful to evacuees and typhoon victims as well.
Most of the donations in relief operations would probably include canned goods and instant noodles. For those who are planning to donate a healthier disaster relief food, check out the list of these food and snack alternatives: (Read: 5 Food Must-Haves in Your Emergency Kit)
Instead of cup noodles, try offering instant oatmeal—preferably those in cups! Similar to cup noodles, it only requires hot water and a quick stir. This can be consumed by the elderly either for breakfast or lunch. It contains nutrition and is high in fiber that can reduce bad cholesterol. Instant oatmeals come in small packets too and can be stored for a few months, making it suitable for donations.
When it comes to donating bread, always choose the one that has a long expiration date. You may opt for other pastries that are available in most bakeries like monay, mamon, and ensaymada, which can be eaten as a slightly heavy merienda or breakfast. Bread is a good choice for kids and the elderly, including those who are pregnant or have food allergies. (Read: ‘No-knead bread’ is all the rage these days—and we fully get why!)
Protein or granola bars
Nutrition bars such as protein and granola bars are not for diet purposes only. This portable snack is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which can give you energy without eating tons of food. It can serve as an energizer or pampalipas gutom snack! Make it an alternative to crackers or biscuits that are usually seen in donation bags.
In the absence of fresh fruits during calamities, dried fruits can be another option. It is highly nutritious and contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The common dried fruits available in the markets are mangoes, apricots, strawberries, and such. It has a longer shelf life compared to fresh fruits. However, keep in mind that dried fruits should be eaten in small amounts because it is higher in calories and sugar than fresh fruits. So, as much as possible, choose unsweetened dried fruit as a donation.